By DENISE GRANT
Findlay’s Robert Sprague was sworn in Friday night as the 49th Ohio Treasurer of State, surrounded by family, friends and about 200 supporters.
The ceremony took place at the Hancock Hotel, 631 S. Main St., kicking off a weekend of inaugural events for new statewide officeholders.
Ohio Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy administered the oath of office to Sprague. Sprague’s daughter, Mary Hannah, held the Bible.
Sprague will take office Monday and is the first Findlay resident to hold a statewide elected office.
He was brief in his remarks Friday.
“I am both honored and humbled that Ohioans have entrusted me to serve in this historic office,” Sprague said. “While the last few weeks have provided no shortage of opportunities to reflect on this journey and give thanks, now is the time to turn our vision into a reality. Today we begin working to ensure the State Treasurer’s Office serves as a vital resource in fostering a more prosperous Ohio for the generations to come.”
Sprague thanked his family and supporters for their help during the campaign.
He also again pledged to use the office to help address social issues in Ohio, including improving state programs for people with disabilities, and addressing the heroin epidemic, infant mortality and high college debt.
“We’re going to pay for progress that works,” he said Friday.
During his campaign, Sprague said he would work to advance an existing program to replace government grants with more private investment to finance trials of new programs to solve society’s problems. As a state representative, he sponsored legislation getting the “social impact bond” into effect.
As Ohio’s state treasurer, Sprague will oversee the state’s investment and debt portfolios, domestic and international custody portfolios, as well as annual cash movements and deposits.
He replaces Republican Josh Mandel, who was prevented by term limits from seeking another term.
Sprague, 45, a Findlay Republican, served three terms in the Ohio House following his appointment in February 2011. He previously was Findlay city auditor and city treasurer.
Before that, he worked for Ernst & Young, helping Fortune 500 companies solve financial challenges.
He defeated Rob Richardson, a Democrat from Cincinnati, in the November election, taking 53 percent of the vote.
Hancock County cast about three-quarters of its ballots for Sprague, who received 20,945 votes to Richardson’s 7,248.
The state treasurer serves a four-year term and is paid $109,554 a year.